Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Education Maintenance Allowance

  • Create the problem: deficit
  • Provide the solution: cuts, cuts, cuts
  • Less, less, less out and more, more, more in
Crude, hopelessly inelegant,
but completely effective

Waking up, yet? George Orwell (Eric Blair) did. These visionary 'stories' are more popular today than ever. The ensnarement of the next generation [and the one before (yesterday) and after (today) and the next (tomorrow)] is still being played out.

Wake up!
Wake up!
Wake up!

The attack and engineering of the education system continues with protests over the education maintenance allowance (EMA). Playing straight into government hands and probably getting more immediate public support that will eventually turn into outrage when the full ramifications dawn.

  • However, in principle it could be better managed locally rather than centrally and those who genuinely need it, theoretically should get support DA.

Student protests  

Many students 'would quit without EMA'. That's the idea. Indirectly 'forcing' the students to remove themselves from the tertiary education system with 6 out of 10 poorer students 'dropping out' without college allowances. The term 'dropping out' up until now has been used to describe an undergraduate prematurely exiting university. After entry. But now the term has evolved to 'dropping out' before even 'dropping in'. But never fear, all will ultimately be blamed on the 'deficit inherited from the last government'. It's all in the script and is now clearly modelled on Animal Farm - A Fairy Story. But in reality it has nothing to do with fairies and is not a story. It's real and it's happening orchestrated by the Tory majority in the so-called coalition government. The minority is the 'Quisling'-style LibDems.

A survey of 1,205 education maintenance allowance (EMA) recipients in England's schools and colleges suggests 61% would not be able to continue without it (suggesting 39% can manage without). This figure rose to 65% (35%) among learners on the maximum grant of £30 a week. It will close to new applicants as of January 2011. Virtually immediately. Current recipients can continue until the end of the current academic year, but about 90,000 students wait for grants to be processed amid 'administrative delays'. Delays that arrive very conveniently, probably 'delaying' until closure of the EMA system (January 2011), but by then these prospective poor undergraduates will be able to take on the crippling loan offered by the government. So, in the spinning mode of a Label, rather than give money, take it away by the 'added value' interest on a loan. This entire scenario isn't about students.

It's about the total

  • It's difficult to imagine that free education Dr. Vince Cable could knowingly 'shell out' and be so duplicitous. But because something is unimaginable or inconceivable does not make that something impossible and it doesn't take a great deal to find suggestions that provide answers. Consider alternative reasons why free education Dr. Vince Cable might publicly side with BP. This has a convenient double-edge to the sword. BP is NOT British Petroleum: BP merged with Amoco in 1998 the company’s name changed to BP Amoco, the shield appearing side-by-side with Amoco’s equally familiar torch. The retention of BP could be interpreted as highly cynical. And by urging the British people to desist from blaming the company (spin) in 'extreme and unhelpful' anti-British (anti-American: DA) rhetoric, actually directly supports the Americans: Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The NUS poll was commissioned and carried out before the present problems, which at one point saw up to 162,000 applicants caught up in a processing backlog. EMA was introduced in 2004 to encourage poorer students to stay in school or college. Those who qualify (used to) get (before January 2011) between £10 and £30 a week, depending on their parents' income. In the poll, recipients were asked what the grant meant to them and how easy it was to obtain, among other things. Its key findings suggest that the allowance, is a vital source of day-to-day support for hundreds of thousands of students in further education. The majority could no longer continue studying and would be forced to 'drop out' without EMA.This also highlights problems with the application process.

There must be a full investigation into why many
thousands of learners have been failed

Allegedly, this was partly because of the bureaucratic nature of the form and parly because applicants lacked family support. The survey suggested the amounts being awarded were not sufficient to cover the essential costs of the poorest learners. This should come as no surprise since the goal is so obvious. Allow only the elite to move forward in the socially engineered society. Any assessment of family circumstances will never happen as the predicament is already known. It's what's being actively engineered. Anything that's considered vital for survival... will be cut off. It's a logical conclusion. Be careful, it's the head next after attacking the body.

It's nasty. It's predictable. It's sick and 1984 continues to take real shape.

The EMA was aimed at those from the poorest homes to encourage them to stay on at school or college after age 16. Over 150,000 students are apparently caught up in the engineered mess, but is supposedly now 155,000. Every student from the wrong class background presents potential competition for future employment. And it's not just employment. It's about the survival of the wealthiest.

NOT atypical:

  • "My mum earns nothing and lives on benefits, as she can't work because my sister is disabled. She can't afford to lend me any money and it's costing me £19 a week in bus fare at the moment - not to mention the amount I've got to spend on books and materials. At the moment I owe my dad £80 due to backlogged EMA. I work two jobs as well as trying to study full-time for my A-levels, and it's still not covering what I need.
    • Why is it necessary to buy books? Secondary education and book purchase, so it seems that they are no longer being provided (free) DA
  • "We are trying our level best to scrape together some help to allow our daughter to continue in college to complete her NVQ Level 3. Our nearest college is one hour away and although she has a bus pass it's not always that simple to get to and from the college when she stays for late practical classes. She can't buy essential clothing and equipment. It's a proper worry."
  • Students have had trouble getting hold of application forms, not available online: alleged technical issues with the phone systems. The application process takes up to five weeks and worse still, students who make a mistake filling in their form are allegedly sent straight to the back of the queue once they resend their 'corrected' application.
  • Re-application becomes necessary as after weeks forms are still not being processed.
    • They are probably dispatched to a locked room and ignored. By January 2011, the EMA process closes (DA).
The people won't be destroyed. Only tied up in red-tape and locked in the chains of bureacracy. Consumers are needed to buy products. They fund parasite-'poverty'. So the rich get richer. The poor become poorer. And the stranglehold grip on the engineered-society just gets tighter. Students have had trouble getting hold of application forms, not available online: alleged technical issues with the phone systems.

A problem with providing up to £30 a week to stay on at college is
that some face genuine hardship in a real desire their continue in education, but some will possibly 'milk' the system. After all, it's essentially free money. EMA also works by ensuring students attend more of their lessons than perhaps they otherwise would. However, attending a lesson does not ensure learning from it. A college may allow only three periods of sickness before it is withdrawn. If you can make it through a session with a 'headache' or 'not feeling well' will still get the EMA It's a bribe that works. But it only ensures attendance in classes and it is hoped that it will have an effect on their overall achievement. It is supposed to be an incentive payment, but for those students who have not yet received theirs, that potential incentive is being lost.

  • Contractor Liberata is to have its contract 'cancelled', but the timing is conveniently in line with the cessation of the EMA. The Learning and Skills Council has closed to be replaced by currently (14.12.10) unidentified successor organisations. Any hardship faced by students will now remain unresolved. Cut off.
  • Students, lecturers and trade unionists are preparing to protest in about 100 colleges in England against the axing of the education maintenance allowance.
  • The government plans to scrap the scheme, which is aimed at encouraging poorer pupils to stay in education, from September next year. This is only for students currently receiving EMA. New applications will fail from January 2011. They are already being 'delayed'. They won't ever happen.
  • Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to axe the scheme in the spending review, saying it had very high "dead weight costs". But numerous studies show the EMA, introduced by Labour, is a key factor in increasing and maintaining the number of young people taking part in education. But not necessarily being educated: DA
  • Recent research suggests students on EMA miss fewer classes and are more likely to stay on in college than wealthier students, despite the fact they tend to have poorer prior attainment. Not surprising if just attending a lesson has no educational input. Just financial: DA
  • The EMA is effective (only at increasing attendance numbers DA) because it is only paid if recipients attend all their classes. Colleges and schools withdraw the week's money if pupils miss class without a good reason.
  • Many pupils depend on it to fund their transport, books and even basic living costs and would 'drop out' of education if the (bribe for some DA) scheme was scrapped.
When extreme positions are taken,
it causes complete polarisation
and the argument gets buried.